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Day 8 : Saturday 2nd October 2004

Rockies, here we come!

The plan for today was relatively simple: leave Vancouver, reach Banff. We had chosen to fly over to Calgary and drive from there, so we rose early and drove the rental car back to Vancouver airport for an on-time drop-off.

AC208 Vancouver Intl (YVR) - Calgary Intl (YYC)

We met our friend who arrived from Gatwick on time and picked up the rental car. The drive to Banff takes about 2 hours, so after yet another bout of mis-navigation (not helped by appalling road-signage) we were on our way on the Trans-Canada highway. This initially routes right through Calgary centre, but as we cleared the town, the journey became quicker. As you drive across the last vestiges of the Prairies, the spectacular, craggy peaks of the Rockies loom larger and larger on the horizon. Banff is situated about 30mins drive after you hit the mountains.

We reached Banff late afternoon and our first priority was to find some accommodation. We had immense luck in finding a triple room for a very reasonable rate at the Red Carpet Inn on Banff Avenue, only about 5 mins walk from Banff's main drag and with beautiful views from the room (see below!).

Tommy's Neighbourhood Pub provided dinner and then, with my recently arrived friend heading to bed to cure her jet lag, we headed to another local pub, where we started playing pool. As time went by, random people started joining us for games and by the end of the evening there was quite a group of various people from all over the world! By the end of the evening, we were fairly well oiled, and despite desperate attempts I can report that there do not appear to be any kebab shops in Banff .